18.104.22.168 Exemptions from Waiting Periods
There are a number of general provisions regarding exemption from waiting or preclusion periods and these are described in the rest of this topic. Some payments or benefits also have specific provisions allowing exemptions, and these are detailed in the relevant topic in Part 3.
Exemption from the LAWP
A person may be exempted from the LAWP if he or she:
- is transferring from one social security income support payment to another within a 14 day period, OR
- has self-served the LAWP (see below), OR
- has served a LAWP during the 12 months immediately prior to claiming, or becoming qualified for, payment, OR
- is suffering severe financial hardship, OR
- is undertaking:
- an activity as part of Stream 4 employment services provided to the person, OR
- a rehabilitation program, OR
- becomes qualified for NSA after a continuous period in receipt of income support payments.
A person may also be exempted from the LAWP if the person or their partner have been subject to a LAWP that started within the last 12 months (which includes where only part of a LAWP had been served). This provision does not apply to YA or Austudy recipients.
Example: If the person's partner is serving a LAWP at the time the person claims payment, the person is exempted from the LAWP.
Act reference: SSAct section 598(6) Subsection 1 does not apply to a person who becomes qualified for newstart allowance, section 38B Notional continuous period of receipt of income support payments
Self-serving the LAWP
The LAWP is considered to have been self-served if the claim is made after the LAWP would have expired.
Exemption from the NARWP
People are exempt from the NARWP for payments and benefits that are subject to a waiting period if they:
- have already served a NARWP under the SSAct or the Student and Youth Assistance Act, OR
- have arrived in Australia under the refugee and humanitarian programs, OR
- are a family member of a refugee or humanitarian migrant, OR
- were a family member of a former refugee or humanitarian migrant at the time the former refugee or humanitarian migrant arrived in Australia, OR
- are an Australian citizen, OR
- are a family member of an Australian citizen, OR
- are a family member of a person who has lawfully been a permanent resident of Australia at any time for a continuous period of not less than 2 years, OR
- are a refugee or former refugee and has a QRE for the payments and benefits specified under SSAct section 7(6), OR
- were a family member of a refugee or former refugee at the time the refugee or former refugee arrived in Australia, OR
- have a QRE for a payment or benefit specified under section 7(6AA) and holds a visa determined by the Minister, OR
- have suffered a substantial change in circumstances for reasons beyond their control (SpB) (22.214.171.124), OR
- are a special need relative or a carer as defined in the Migration Regulations (CP only).
Note: Due to amendments to the SSAct (s 739A(8)), the Australian citizen/resident family member exemptions from the SpB NARWP do not apply to holders of the temporary 309 and 820 Spouse/Partner or temporary 310 and 826 Interdependency visas from 1 January 2012.
Act reference: SSAct section 739A(8) Paragraphs 3(1)(e) and (g) of the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Newly Arrived Resident's Waiting Periods and Other Measures) Act 1997 ... do not apply to a person if...
Policy reference: SS Guide 126.96.36.199 Payability of SpB, 188.8.131.52 SpB for Newly Arrived Residents
Principal carer exemption from NARWP/residence requirements
From July 2006, there are 2 new definitions of 'current period as an Australian resident' and 'lone parent'. These definitions are relevant for PP, YA (job seeker) and NSA.
- A 'current period of an Australian resident' is where a person has been an Australian resident for an entire period and the person lodged a claim for YA (job seeker), NSA or PP during the period.
- A 'lone parent' is a person who is not a member of a couple and who has a dependent child.
A residence requirement/NARWP for PP, NSA and YA is that newly arrived residents are required to have been an Australian resident in Australia for a period of, or periods totalling 104 weeks.
However, a person will not have to meet the 104 week rule if the person:
- is the principal carer of one or more children, and
- is not a member of a couple, and
- at the start of the person's current period of Australian residence the person was not a lone parent.
This rule is similar to the exception provided to newly arrived resident parents who qualify for PP when, following their Australian residency, they become single.
Family member for the purpose of exemption from the NARWP
'Family member' includes the following categories of people in accordance with SSAct section 7(6D):
- dependent child, or
- another person, who in the opinion of the Secretary, should be treated for the purposes of this definition as a family member.
Act reference: SSAct section 7(6AA) A person also has a qualifying residence exemption..., section 7(6) A person has a qualifying residence exemption...
Policy reference: SS Guide 184.108.40.206 Newly Arrived Resident's Waiting Period, 220.127.116.11 NARWP Saving Provisions
Exemption from the OWP
A person may be exempted from the OWP if:
- they are reclaiming within 13 weeks of last receiving a social security benefit or allowance, OR
- the person is undertaking:
- formal training in a LMP, OR
- an activity approved by the Employment Secretary under the CSP, OR
- a rehabilitation program, OR
- is in severe financial hardship.
Last reviewed: 30 April 2012